Business strategist chichi

Business Strategist and Coach Chichi Eruchalu

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I am a Business Strategist and Coach for entrepreneurial women ready to step up and stand out in their business and life.

When did you start your business and what inspired you?

I started my business in 2013 after I had my daughter, who is now 5. I realised that I didn’t want to go back to my corporate job in a bank and started to look into what I could do based on my skill-sets. That’s when I found a book online about how to become a VA. All you needed was internet connection and you could work with people online. This was a totally new way of looking at things for me and I realised that I could be doing this and working with people all over the world. The main thing, as a new mum was wanting more freedom to run life on my terms and to do something that used all of my skills.

How did you fund your business?

I used own money to fund my business. I was actually on maternity leave at the time I started looking and creating and I didn’t spend that much money so it seemed like a good time to start.

How do you manage working around your children?

I get up really early around 5am to try and get as much done before the rest of the house wakes up. Before my daughter started school she went to preschool during the day so I could fit things around that. Now I work around the children going to school and work in the evenings too.

Can you describe a typical day? what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I work four days a week – two of those days are set aside for coaching days and the rest are for content creation. I have one day a week to spend with my son which also sometimes becomes a light business day.
So, firstly I get up, do my morning routine -which consists of journaling and praying – then I’ll get the kids ready for school and drop them off.
Once I’m back I’ll spend the first 30 mins on high priority business tasks – that would include responding to client emails, following up, messaging my community (emailing list/putting out offer). I also do a live stream in the morning.
On Monday mornings I always meet with my team to get ready for the rest of the week.
During the rest of the day if I’m not on client calls I am making content and taking action.
Then in the evenings I pick the kids up, come home, keep my phone with me until around 6.30pm whilst doing the dinner, then it’s really about home time. So we do all the normal things like bath time, story time, bed time, spend time with my husband.
I try not to work at night, but on the odd occasion I’ll get up late at night and do a bit of work.

What have you found hardest?

At every level there’s something you have to master to get to the next level. Breaking to get to next level currently means growing a team, bigger systems and streamlining the business. Juggling cash flow has been another difficult task. As well as finding the right boundaries – especially when my community is growing.

What’s the best thing about being self employed?

FREEDOM. I don’t hate Mondays – in fact I’m excited for Mondays. I love my community and seeing a transformation in the women I work with and helping them grow their businesses. Another thing is that there’s no cap on how much money I can earn. I am my own boss and I’m not accountable to anyone.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out?

Stay in your lane – stop looking at what other people are doing
Surround yourself with people who elevate you and inspire you. Who push you to be your best self.
Don’t be afraid to invest into yourself.

Anything Else?

Know that it takes hard work, but that it is rewarding. Never underestimate the importance of community and having a mentor. Accept that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

I am a Business Strategist and Coach who helps you get noticed and known by the people that matter – your future clients. My sweet spot is business visibility, helping you confidently overcome your fears around being seen online by helping you lead with your strengths. I am here to help you get clear on what you want, create a plan to achieve it and hold you accountable every step of the way.
I work with solopreneurs, new and established businesses to creatively build your strategy & help you be connected to your bigger purpose, so that you can grow a business which allows you to feel fulfilled & give back in an authentic way.

 

Tamsin has been running a swim school since 2004

Running a Swim School: Water Babies

Tamsin has been running a swim school since 2004. A bad early experience with swimming inspired her and she has grown Water Babies through franchising.

Tell us your name and a bit about your family?

My name is Tamsin Brewis, I’m 55 and I live in Banbury with my husband Michael and our two children. Michael is a management trainer and my two children are now both at university.

When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I first became a mum in 1995. I have two wonderful children; Thomas who is now 21 and Sydonie who is now 19. They’re both at university and we couldn’t be more proud of them.

What’s your business called?

My business is called Water Babies.

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Water Babies is a baby swimming school offering lessons from birth to 4 years of age which are progressive, fun and safety driven.

When did you starT running a swim school and what inspired you?

I started Water Babies in November 2004. Before Water Babies, I worked for a field marketing company and I was forever commuting and away from home. I had two young children and I felt we were all missing out. Like so many other mums, I wanted to spend more time with them. I made what was, at the time, a pretty risky decision and changed career paths.

I’d had a bad experience as a child learning to swim and I swore my kids wouldn’t be afraid of water. At the time, I looked around for children’s swimming classes but was disappointed with what I found. Eventually, I found classes in London and I used to go all the way to London once a week for 40 weeks from Buckingham! The owner of that particular swim school asked if I would like to be a teacher so I qualified and became a swimming teacher. I started teaching locally and I was in the pool one day and a lovely little baby was sick on me – and that was my lightbulb moment! I thought, I need to be doing something for myself…

How did you fund your start up?

I used my life savings! I did speak to the banks about getting a loan but in the end I chose to put my own savings in rather than taking out a loan. It was a risk at the time. People thought I was totally mad. In fact, lots of people tried to talk me out of it.

I set off with a target for my first year and I not only reached this within nine months but over achieved; I’d always said to myself that if I hit that target for year one then we would go to New York for the weekend – so we did!

How do you manage running The swim school around your children?

When I first started out and for years afterwards, running the business alongside having a family and spending quality time with them was a great balancing act. I would work during the day whilst the children were at school and then again in the evenings when they were in bed. You have both the opportunity and the need to work around your children instead of having fixed hours.

Both of my children have very much grown up as part of the business with me. They’ve been with me to shows and fairs, they’ve helped with leafleting, visited pools with me. At first it was out of necessity and over time it became something we all enjoyed and in actual fact, something that has benefitted them socially and academically.

My family have helped immensely along the way – I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their support. When people say running your own business is easy – I say you’ve got to be joking!

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

What I first started the business I think it’s safe to say things were pretty hectic! I would be up at 7am to get the children to school then I would go straight into teaching swim classes for a couple of hours. After that I would be back to the office for admin work, then maybe out and about putting up leaflets or dropping flyers door-to-door before picking children up from school. Then of course it was family time so feeding everyone, doing homework and spending some time together before putting them to bed. Once the children were in bed I’d often catch up with missed phone calls and emails.

Now that the business has grown and I have a fabulous team of staff, I spend more time on business development than the day-to-day tasks. I still teach some classes because I love it and it’s important for me to be close to the children and parents that we work with. But otherwise I spend time on business planning, marketing, staff management, training and developing the Water Babies offering.

Do I do the same things every day – no! I didn’t when I started and I had two small children to work around and I don’t now that we’ve been established for over 10 years and they’re all grown up! I think that’s just the life of an entrepreneur!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

I would say the recession in 2008 was the biggest challenge we’ve faced as a business. It was tough but we managed to overcome it by working hard and being sensible. Everyone went above and beyond on a personal level and internally, we looked at the structure of the business, what pools we were using etc. and how to be as efficient as possible whilst still providing the very best service.

I think growing the business has been an ongoing challenge – it tends to grow in stages and I’m sure most businesses are the same so people will be able to relate! You have to grow a certain number of clients before you can take on new staff so you always reach a certain pressure or pain point just before you can afford to take on extra resource. We’ve had to learn as we go.

I also think the market changes, not in terms of what we’re offering but in terms of what our clients need and want. So it’s about listening to your customers and responding appropriately; they are the same challenges for most businesses really.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

By far the best thing for me is the independence that comes with being your own boss and being in control of your own destiny. As a mumpreneur, I get the opportunity to try new things, learn from my mistakes and grow in personal strength and professional skill as a result. I love meeting new people and listening to them and learning from them.

I always said the reason I started the business was to spend more time with my family and I’ve definitely achieved that. My son, Thomas, is Dyslexic and Dyspraxic so needs extra support with education and learning. In the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted the business to be able to help with private school fees that would enable him to have the support that he needs. I’ve been able to achieve that and so much more, for my whole family. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done as a business and as a family.

Giving back to the community and helping others is something I’m passionate about. I started a company initiative to fundraise for Tommy’s. As a charity they fund research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. And they also provide information for parents-to-be to help them have a healthy pregnancy and baby. I’m so proud that my business can help towards this cause.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to continue to grow the business of course but it is more important to me to support my staff and make an impact in the community and in the lives of as many people as possible.

In future, I would like to do some charity work and work with teenagers suffering with mental health, depression etc. because as a mother, when you see young people suffering you want to give something back and help. So that’s the next big challenge I’d like to tackle I think.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Identify your strengths and weaknesses and then play to your strengths. Get help where you need it and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s no such thing as a silly question. Learn from your mistakes and just have a go!

http://www.waterbabies.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/WaterBabiesUK/

Mum running her business on her laptop

Running Spanish Lessons with Gemma

Tell us a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
I became a first time mum in 2011 and again in 2013 to two little boys. I was working as an admin assistant for Ernst & Young after having been in marketing for a few years, always searching for the right work life balance. When number 2 came along knew returning to my office job didn’t feel right. As it turns out my whole department got made redundant not long after so am glad I made my decision for myself otherwise I’d have had it forced on me. It felt really positive choosing to be a stay at home mum, but really scary too because I have always had my independent income. I knew I wouldn’t last long!

What’s your business called?
I am known as Spanish Gemma.

Can you describe it in one sentence?
A supportive Spanish Language educational service for all ages in South Birmingham.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
I just thought wow it feels lonely working alone all the time and was delighted to discover I was not alone after all.

How did you fund your start up?
My business at first used a laptop which I already had but I have used my savings to buy resources over time.

How do you manage working around your children?
As they have spent longer in nursery/school I have had more time to work, I also work quite a few evenings when they’re in bed. Fortunately they’re good sleepers!

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
I teach Spanish in local nurseries, I run a Spanish Conversational club for Adults, a lunchtime club in a school, a Spanish Songs group for mums and babies and I run a kids club. I have started to produce my own cd and book too. So there isn’t really a standard day. There’s more reactive work and less planning than I’d like but it’s all good. The classes are joyous! Then there’s lots of running about. I grab a couple of hours in the week for admin so the rest is done in the evenings. Tuesday mornings are currently my chance to sit down and plan lessons and get creative.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
Learnng new things all the time. I have learned a bit about websites, re-learned lots of Spanish (children want to know very different vocab from everyday language/degree standard language. Like “Mummy, what’s sloth in Spanish?”… I am constantly learning how to teach as I don’t have a teaching qualification. I am learning lots about sourcing resources for classes.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
Knowing there are other mums in business out there

What are your plans for the future?
To expand into more classes when the little guy is in school. To maybe branch into YouTube videos.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Turn obstacles into opportunities.

http://www.spanishgemma.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/spanishgemmabham/
https://www.meetup.com/Kings-Heath-Spanish-Club/

Caroline from added zest

Adding Zest Ltd – Helping Young People Manage Anxiety

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I’m Caroline Cavanagh, wife to Nick who is in the army and Mum to Nadia and Eden who are 12 and 11.

What’s your business called?

My business is called Adding Zest Ltd

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I help teenagers and their parents overcome anxiety and build resilience as a platform upon which to develop confidence.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I made an active choice that being a Mum was more important than financial success, but having the mental stimulation that work provided was still important to my own well being. Becoming self employed seemed the best answer. As the children have grown, it has allowed me to be the Mum I want to be but fit in the work commitments to allow me to still be ‘me’ and keep a platform from which to grow as my children’s needs change.

How did you fund your start up?

Fortunately the investment was not high so within the realms of self-funding.

How do you manage working around your children?

It has changed with the children. Initially it was just when they slept, I used a bit of childcare when they were toddlers and then when they started school, I was a Mum until 9 and after 3 and prioritised work for the 6 hours in between. Now that they are at secondary school, those 6 hours have grown to be 8 so I’m practically a full time worker again.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

Working from home is a big factor in keeping all the balls up. The first part of the day is all about getting everyone out of the house but then I can just ‘put the washing on’ or empty the dishwasher throughout the day to keep the house going. Walking my dog in the morning is key as it is ‘me’ time when I get to think through problems and plan. I also find that being out in nature and getting the heart working is a part of the routine that just cant be compromised. Once the children get home at 4.30 I work hard to close the laptop and give them my full attention. That’s the downside of working from home; the temptation is always there to ‘check emails’ but I have learned that this compromises everything – not giving the children the attention they deserve and the work is being done without focus. So now I aim to compartmentalise my day – I am either working, parenting or having me time and ensure each is given full focus. That way, I believe, I am the best version of me I can be and so everyone wins!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

The biggest was my husband going away for 12 months to Afghanistan and both children under 7. I learned what was important and what could be left. Taking on the role of being both parents and getting my children through that period was my priority and if that meant the house was not as clean as it could be, or I earned a bit less, then so be it. Whilst it was a tough time, I learned two great lessons – every challenge will end and you will have learned something from it. These lessons have meant that when new challenges come up, they are not as scary as they will end, I will be stronger for it…..

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I’ve been to every sports day, every school play, every concert. These opportunities only come once. I am not a millionaire (yet) but that’s still possible and ‘Ill do it with all those wonderful memories stored away and no regrets.

What are your plans for the future?

Now that my children are at secondary school, their needs for me are changing allowing me more focus on the business. I wrote a book this year, have just won a national award and have big plans for next year to take my business to a new level – and one that will also help my own children as its working with teenagers so that also supports motivation. Finding a way to bring the two elements of my life together really helps as they can contribute to ideas and feel included in my work. My aim is to be a good role model for them.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Only ever compare yourself to you. If you start to compare your products, your earnings, your client base etc it is likely you will always find someone better. However that is not a fair comparison. I once worked with someone who was the same age as me, a multi millionaire, global following by thousands who loved her work, travelled the world, award winning author………who had no children, a failed marriage, spend more than half the year away from her husband…….If I only focused on the first half, I felt like a failure. When I saw the bigger picture, I now the comparison is incomparable! When you compare yourself on one element, you lose focus on all the other areas. So the advice is just compare yourself to whom you were yesterday. If you are stronger, fitter, healthier, happier, richer in any way, you are a winner!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Enjoy today. Yesterday has already gone so learn from any mistakes and look forward. Know where you want to get to and ensure every step is leading you closer there but tomorrow, next week, next year, isn’t here yet so dont spend lots of time focusing on it. The only chance you have to enjoy now is NOW so make the thing you are doing now, one that leaves you happy.
www.anxietyalchemy.co.uk
www.addingzest.com
https://www.facebook.com/AddingZestLtd

Alexandra moore

Running a Personal Stylist Business with Alexandra Moore

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I live in Harold Wood with my other half Mat, our little boy Dylan and 2 cats. Mat proposed to me in April in the middle of Milan and we are getting married in London next June. We’ve been together 4 years and met through my old work. I became a mum at the end of 2014 and although never had a maternal bone in my body, he’s the best thing I ever done and couldn’t imagine my life without him. We found out we were having a boy and the only name we both liked was Dylan. I wanted him to have my dads name, which is Thomas and so we agreed on Dylan Thomas … I know right!!!! Turns out Dylan was born about 3 days away from Dylan Thomas’s 100th birthday!!

What’s your business called?

My business is called Alexandra Moore

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I am a personal stylist and my ethos is ‘helping women change how they shop and think about clothes’ with the #fashionisfun.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I’ve always worked in the corporate world and was getting bored of it – i’ve always been the go to for my friends to go shopping with or ask advice on what to wear, so I decided I must know what i’m talking about and put myself on a styling course 4 years ago. Set up a cheap website, Facebook page and business cards then just sat back expecting people to be climbing over each other for my services! Didn’t quite work like that, plus I was still working full time. Whilst on maternity leave it gave me the opportunity to spend a bit more time looking into working for myself and I started networking, which has opened up a whole new world to me. I’ve met some brilliant amazing people and my business has started to pick up. So much so that i’ve re-branded, got a brand new website launching soon and a logo I am thoroughly proud of. I love that I can work around Dylan and still get to spend so much time with him, but have a couple of days a week where i’m me and get to work for myself and be a grown up! I’ve only been working for myself since February this year though as a mumpreneur

How did you fund your start up?

I’m the worst saver in the world and honestly, have stumbled through start up financially, just putting money into the business as and when I can. I’m more settled now though and with the support of my family raised the capital to get my website and logo done. Now i’m more stable, when I work with clients and get paid I invest that money back into the business

How do you manage working around your children?

Dylan goes to nursery 2 days a week, which enables me to have official ‘work days’. Outside of this, take now for example. I’m answering your questions, while he’s running around the lounge playing. I’ve got one eye on the laptop and one on him. When he goes to bed I try to make the most of this time too working around making dinner and tidying from the days antics, plus I make the most of nap times. I do find it hard sometimes, but i’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to be a mum and work for myself and am making the most of it.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I absolutely wing it!!! I’m not organised and I firefight, I live by my filofax.
Because my work is so varied I can’t really pin a typical day down, but lets go with doing a styling session! I’d get up at 6:30, get ready and get Dylan to nursery in Chelmsford at 8:00am. Head home and do work on my You Tube videos and workshops that i’m in the process of creating, plus respond to any emails. Then i’d head off to meet my client and spend 4 hours with them. If i’ve got time i’ll head home to do a bit more social media then go pick Dylan up around 5:00. If Mat is at home then we have a play with him for an hour then it’s bath and bedtime. Once he’s settled it’s dinner, washing, tidying, blogging, working on my website, putting outfit ideas together and somewhere in here plan a wedding!!!!!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

When I first set up I really thought it was as easy as having a website then people googling me and watching my client database grow. It wasn’t until I was on maternity leave that I was introduced to the world of networking and how actually, having a business was a lot harder than I thought. I also found myself getting really bogged down in social media and panicking if no-one liked a picture, rather than focusing on what people want from me and how I can get my name out there. I’ve had some help from some great people and had support from some business coaches. I’m also about to sign up to an agency who will take me under their wing and guide me in the right direction. From going to networking i’ve made a great group of friends and when i’m feeling a bit down or it’s all getting too much, I know they’re there for an offload and bring me back up again. That’s really important for me – working on your own can be a lonely business and so having a group of women who all work for themselves and get where you’re coming from makes the day much easier

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

I couldn’t pin being a mumpreneur down to just one thing. What can I say, I get to work for myself, I don’t answer to anyone, I do something that I love and still get to watch my little boy grow up and be a huge part of his life. Mats work involves travelling around the world and he can be out the Country for a few weeks at a time (that’s only happened once so far) and so Dylan and I have such a strong bond. I try to make the most of the time I spend with him and we do activities during the week. I hate being in the house with him, he just loves being sociable and out and about, so we go out as much as possible. I feel very lucky

What are your plans for the future?

Over time I want to see my business go from strength to strength and when Dylan goes to school, I know i’ll have more time to focus on the business.
Since becoming a mum i’ve realised how much i’ve changed and my style – I don’t like to conform and I like to try new things. I think when you’re a mum you feel you have to look a certain way and that isn’t the case. You’re still you, just with a little extension to yourself and you should be who you want to be. I love the idea of helping mums realise who they are and bringing that out through how they dress.
I’m also working on creating body confidence workshops, which i’d love to see grow and become a huge success.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Network, it’s the best way to get your name out there and you’ll make some friends along the way.
Be prepared for some down days, but don’t give up – it’s OK to text someone or talk to your other half and tell them how you’re feeling. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

My new website is due to be launching at the end of June and please look out for information on my website about my workshops, i’m really excited about them and I think they’re going to make a huge difference to women.
People get really nervous about having a personal stylist and think they’re only for the rich and famous. This is so not true. I offer a range of services to suit all budgets and you could actually end up saving money by learning how to shop for your shape and becoming a savvy shopper

imagewww.alexandramoore.co.uk (under construction)

Instragram – @alexmoorestylist

You Tube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQC0nJNqgNPdj0-UrKjImYQ/videos

 

 

 

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Ocean Coaching – Launching a Coaching Business

Tell us your name and a bit about your family?

My name is Anita McAloren and I am mum to three children, wife and business partner to Mick.

When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I became a mum purely by inheritance in 1997 at the tender age of 23 when my mum in law passed away from cancer, Shaun was 3 (he is now 22) at the time and we took him on as our own son, we then were blessed with two daughters, Eleanor 17 and Grace now 10.

What’s your business called?

Ocean Coaching – your wave of inspiration

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I am your other set of eyes on your business helping you on the road to success and harmonious family business relationships.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

I became a mumpreneur in 1997 when I had to leave a career in Marketing to become a mum to Shaun. I decided to put my marketing skills to good use and help Micks Auto Electrical business grow. In 2013 I graduated as an Accredited Performance Coach and Ocean Coaching was launched. My inspiration to launch Ocean Coaching and become a Family Business Coach was purely down to our own family business and learning successfully the art of juggling a business and a family, I wanted to share my experiences, tools, and techniques with others to help them achieve success.

How did you fund your start up?

Savings, cutting back on unnecessary spending and hard work!

How do you manage working around your children?

I work school hours so when they are in school, I work. When they are off on holidays, I make good use of technology, emails, smartphone and time management to get as much done as possible without it being detrimental to family life, I am a big believer in boundaries.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

Morning after the school run, coffee, breakfast and post on my social media business pages, check emails, answer emails and any client enquiries. One morning a week I attend networking meeting and then continue my usual morning routine.
Lunchtime and afternoon is usually spent on coaching calls, marketing and planning.
Then I usually stop at 3pm pick my daughter up from school and while cooking dinner, I help her with homework and answer any emails or enquiries from my website. 5pm is strict cut off time for me as I then have the evening with my family, I do however confess to sometimes working once the youngest daughter is in bed!

 

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

Worrying about what other business coaches are doing and how I compete, I no longer worry so much, people buy people and will connect with the right person, also, I have such a great targeted niche that many other business coaches do not specialize in or have experience in, top tip. You are you, people will know, like and trust you, and only you have walked your journey; only you have your knowledge and skill set. Nobody else is you; therefore your services and products are unique to you.
I have worried in the past about confidence and guest speaking, but using NLP, which I am trained in, I have overcome those issues and now I love getting out in front of my ideal clients.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Freedom to work around my family and have no ceiling on my income. Being able to show my girls, you can have a family and a business or a career. They have superb work ethic already!

What are your plans for the future?

Travel more, coach as many family business owners as I can and build my business to a point where I have a passive income, retirement plan and financial freedom.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Just do it! Plan, prepare and research your ideal clients, your target audience, don’t spend a fortune on glitzy websites or shiny stuff that is not productive or makes you money and reach out for help and support, you cannot possibly do it all yourself or have all the answers!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I absolutely love being an entrepreneur, love helping and coaching family business and always happy to jump on a Skype coaching call with my clients and potential clients to see if we are the right fit for one another. Business Coaching is all about rapport!

www.oceancoaching.co.uk
www.facebook.com/oceancoaching

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Running a Coaching Business – Happy Working Mums

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Emily Thorpe I am married to Andy and we have 2 boys who I would call spirited (!) called Fin age 11 and Jakey age 8
We live near Chichester on the South coast.

What’s your business called?

Happy Working Mum

Can you describe it in one sentence?

I help mums to ditch the mummy guilt, and go from stressed and overwhelmed to relaxed, happy and balanced.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

When I was pregnant with Fin, I imagined what kind of mum I would be, I was envisioning something like Mary Poppins; happy, playing games, singing songs.
My reality was a million miles away, I felt guilty for going back to work, I was SO tired, stressed and overwhelmed with all the things I thought I should be doing.
Then when I had 2 boys I found to my horror I had become a shouty mum! I decided to train as a Life Coach so I could work from home, but in fact my life coaching training gave me all the tools I needed to be the Mary Poppins mum I’d dreamed of, without leaving work. However I became so passionate about helping mums that I gave up my career as an Air Traffic Controller in 2015 to become a coach full time.

How did you fund your start up?

I was fortunate that my day job as an Air Traffic Controller (part time) enabled me to have the time and resources to start my business. Being a coach does not have a lot of overheads as it is usually done over the phone or Skype.
So really it was just my initial training, having a website created and having a coach myself.

How do you manage working around your children?

One of the key points I share with my clients is about having boundaries. We all have different commitments so there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution however it is vital that you compartmentalise your time and attention to allow you to be fully present, whether you are working or playing with the kids, There are lots of practical ways to fit both work and quality time into your life. You definitely can have both.

 

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

I always do the school run and get home by 8:45 and I tend to tidy up or put a load of washing on before 9. I like to spend the first hour of my day on self care, that could be going for a walk or a bike ride, meditating, listening to audio books, generally feeding my body and soul in some way. The rest of my day will depend on what coaching commitments I have, but I usually fit in a combination of the following;
some marketing (Facebook posts/ blog posts)
some connecting (emails/calls)
some creativity (planning workshops/projects or writing articles)
some big planning (looking at my goals/schedules)
and finally accounts

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

Doubting that I can do it or will be successful. This is all about taking your hand off the back door and taking that leap of faith. For a while when I started I had the thought in the back of my mind that if it didn’t work out I could just continue with my ATC career. But there comes a point when you have to go full in on your vision and your dream and when you get to that point your commitment levels and determination go through the roof.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

One of the main reasons for being a Mumpreneur for me was the flexibility. I remember having to go to work when Fin was poorly, Andy was on a day off thankfully, but all Fin wanted was cuddles from his mummy and it broke my heart to have to leave him. They’re older now and not so clingy, even when they’re poorly but I definitely have more options to work the hours I choose.

What are your plans for the future?

I would love to enable mums all over the country (even the world) to ditch the ‘mummy guilt’ and beating themselves up for not matching up to this image of a ‘perfect’ mum. We’re all different and all perfect right now and we can have so much more fun, love and connection when we’re free of the burden or guilt and criticism.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Firstly find someone who is doing what you aspire to do and ask if you can buy them a coffee or lunch in exchange for asking them about their business. Find out how they started, what works, what doesn’t, their business best practices. This will save you so much time and effort, there is no point reinventing the wheel. Secondly, get a coach. If you’re not where you want to be, chances are you have some blocks or limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck, A coach will cheer you on and keep you accountable, but they should also challenge you and kick butt when necessary!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Keep going. You are unique and you have a unique gift to bring to the world. No-one else can do what you do, the way you do it. So don’t give up, just keep going :0)

www.happyworkingmum.com
www.emilythorpe.com
www.facebook.com/happyworkingmum
Twitter: happyworkmum
Linkedin: EmilyThorpe

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Get Better Coaching – Coaching Others to Help them Succeed in Business

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

I’m Wendy Ager, mum of two girls one born March 2008 and the other October 2011.

What’s your business called?

Get Better Coaching

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Through business coaching and mentoring, I help people grow their business.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

In 2007 I left the corporate world and started a diploma in Personal Performance Coaching with the Coaching Academy having met a coach working on a management development programme. I decided I had to learn that skill and then got made redundant whilst on maternity leave, which was perfect as I always wanted to run my own business and this gave me the opportunity.

How did you fund your start up?

I used the little bit of redundancy money I got to pay for the Diploma and get me started but my start-up costs were minimal. It all boiled down to my time and effort to set it all up. I learnt how to create my own website on iWeb, about copy, design and marketing through networking, talks, workshops and reading blogs and articles and watching videos online.

How do you manage working around your children?

I still work part-time during term time as my youngest is in nursery part-time and eldest at school. I normally meet my clients for an initial session then continue working with them by phone or Skype so there are no wasted minutes or money on travel for either party. When I started, I had one child and I worked on my business and with clients by Skype or phone when she at nursery and in the evening, but with two and the eldest’s later bed-time that’s no longer possible. Now I tend to only work with clients day-time when my kids are at school and nursery. I often work in the evenings on marketing my business and developing it online. It feels more like a hobby than work though, as I love what I do and have created with my business.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

No day is the same for me. My business is and will be evolving as time goes on. I work a lot on me and my business still at the moment, as I’m going to create a new website, make more online and automated ways to promote my business, like sharing how to use social media marketing tools. I have clients booked in for business growth sessions during the day, the odd event, like a workshop, talk or my networking events each month. I plan my time carefully at the beginning of each week and month to achieve my goals.

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

When I first started out I launched as a Career Coach as I had a background in HR and Recruitment but everyone wanted to do what I’d done and leave the corporate world and set up in business for themselves. As a newbie myself, this was a challenge! I also set up a workshop quite early on that I thought I would use as a marketing tool to get clients, however, nobody booked them because I didn’t know how to market them.

This is why I threw myself in and learn’t so much about business and marketing, and that’s what I tend to help business owners now, improving and increasing their marketing so they can grow their businesses.

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Getting to choose my hours, working around and spending time with my kids.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue to work flexibly around my family, obviously to grow my business and help more people get what they want from being self-employed.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Use all the free and available tools, workshops, resources you can find in your area and online. Meet people and talk lots about your plans, aspirations and definitely get a mentor or coach if you can either using free resources or pay for one yourself. You cannot beat someone to work on your business 121 with. I have my own coach who helps me keep going!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

If you have a viable business, are good at what you do or have a product that will sell, don’t give up. But, don’t spend all your time faffing around complaining about not having the money or time to grow your business. Either find the money, or the time and work on activities that will work and help you grow your business!

http://www.GetBetterCoaching.co.uk

http://www.Facebook.com/GetBetterCoaching

http://www.Twitter.com/WendyAnnAger

The Balance Collective – A Business Helping People to Achieve Balance

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?

My name is Clara Wilcox and I am married to the lovely Scott; we have been together since I was 18 and have two lovely girls, Grace who is 10 and Lily who is nearly four.
What’s your business called?

The Balance Collective

Can you describe it in one sentence?

Coaching and consultancy to support parents returning to work and to empower their career and life choices.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?

After I returned to work with my second in 2013, I found it surprisingly hard to settle back; it was a job I loved, a great team and a supportive manager, but that year away changed me. I was coached through the transition and found it so inspiring and wanted to offer this to others. When speaking to other parents, they couldn’t find support that would take into consideration being a parent and all that entails; often employers would tick HR boxes but not identify the mind-set and practical issues that challenge parents. I offer coaching in four main areas: Return to work, Career, Confidence and Balance and started in early 2015.

I was lucky with both of my girls I was able to go back to my management job on a part-time basis without it impacting any of the opportunities available to me or my career. However, this wasn’t open to everyone. Either parents have to take lower paid roles to accommodate the part-time or flexible hours, or they were in roles that couldn’t support their family needs. This is why I offer the flexible jobs board.

Finally, and this is very important to me, I was working at the time in a non-profit, community focused role and wanted to continue this rewarding culture. This is why I have decided to work towards creating grants to help mums upskill or retrain so they have more career opportunities.

I worked on the business at the same time as working as a Project Manager in a local University; when the opportunity for redundancy came up in mid-2015 I took the leap and have been working solely on the business since November 2015.

How did you fund your start up?

The initial money came from the Social Enterprise funder UnLtd. As the aim for the business is to create the grants from some of the profits in the business. This fund enabled be to set up the site, get equipment and some marketing. The rest in the early days was my own savings.

How do you manage working around your children?

My eldest is in school and my youngest goes to nursery part time and I am very lucky that my Mum will have my youngest on the days she isn’t at nursery. It means I can do drop off and pickups and have a couple of longer days when it is Grandparents and Granddaughter time. I only work four days a week during term time and during the school holidays shift my days; for example I worked two days with Grandparents help over Easter then did a few hours in the evening.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?

Typical day includes a couple of hours one to one coaching, usually over the phone or skype, writing my blogs, a bit of admin, social media (posting and chatting in groups) and creative time. I usually work using an Important/Urgent quadrant so I don’t become a busy fool and set time limits so that I am not trying to achieve too much in not enough hours!
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?

I am in my first six months of being my own boss, so the challenges I am facing at the moment are my own making. Fear of failure and rejection! As a coach, I always review my goals and how I am standing in my own way. I have a coach that I work on through this and try to push myself out of my comfort zone.
On a practical perspective, I have had to learn so much about my website and social media. I have lots of ideas but don’t know how to do them technically (in my previous role I have a Communications guru that would!) and not a lot of money to get someone else. Lots of learning which I love but I have to not be so impatient!

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?

Doing something I love on my own terms and being in control of my future. My stress levels have gone down too which my family and friends have noticed!

What are your plans for the future?

To keep building the brand and expand my online and group coaching offering; there is only one of me and I want to help as many people as possible. All of this leads to my social enterprise aims to help thousands of women over my lifetime through my grant idea!
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?

Know what you your minimum viable income; you won’t match your employed salary in a while and you will probably need to save up some capital to start you off.
Transitioning from employee to business owner can happen gradually, you may even do both for a while! It will shift too over time so you may need to pick up work outside of your core scope to pay the bills
Ask for help!
Don’t wait for the perfect conditions.

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www.thebalancecollective.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/Flexibleworkingforall/
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/clarawilcox
https://twitter.com/clarawilcox

Lab Tots – A Business that Inspires the Next Generation of Scientists

Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
My name is Sophia Mitchell, I had my son Edward in July 2014

What’s your business called?
Lab Tots
I also have Lab Kidz as a place holder for older children

Can you describe it in one sentence?
Lab Tots preschool science brings a world of scientific adventure to you in a fun, enjoyable, entertaining and safe environment.

When did you become a Mumpreneur and what inspired you?
After a number of life changing events (becoming a new mum, being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, becoming an insulin pump user, being made redundant – all whilst on maternity leave) I took a long hard look at what I wanted out of life. Edward was my inspiration. I wanted to do something that would make me a better mum, allow me to spend time with him and to engage with him in a fun, interactive and educational way – and Lab Tots was born!

How did you fund your start up?
All of Lab Tots is self funded and this is ongoing.

How do you manage working around your children?
Edward is in nursery 2 days a week and its during those 2 days (and nap times!) that I work on Lab Tots.

Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
I try to balance my days between financial planning, marketing & social media, course content development, sourcing session supplies, making session supplies, testing experiments – basically everything!
I manage my time well – always carrying my note book & to do list with me. I prioritise important items 1st and mix bigger tasks in with ‘quick wins’ so my to do list doesn’t just keep growing!

What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
All the usual obstacles you face as a self employed person – funding, sales, marketing, developing your product and brand. I try to keep things realistic, with short term, medium term & long term goals. I am financially savvy so don’t spend what I don’t have. Friends have helped out greatly with creating some of the physical material (as most things cant be brought anyway!) as well as the website. I wouldn’t say i’ve ‘overcome’ these obstacles as they are still ongoing, but I am making progress and 100% repeat business cant be bad!

What’s the best thing about being Mumpreneur?
Being in control of my own destiny, developing things the way I want to and being able to feel proud of what i’ve achieved and developed from a blank canvass.

What are your plans for the future?
My long term plans for the future are to grow Lab Tots into a nationwide brand, whether that’s via a franchise model or keeping it family run with teams operating nationally. I would also like to develop a touring / mobile Lab Tots experience.

What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Its hard work and you’re unlikely (in my case) to be earning on the same salary scale as you were previously – at least to begin with. So if you can plan financially for this prior to start up, it will take some of the pressure off. The rest is to stay positive & self motivated. Have a plan, (or several!) but keep it / them flexible so you keep yourself open to opportunities as they arise – you never really know what’s round the corner and who you may come into contact with.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Our mission at Lab Tots is to ignite a lifelong love of Science, getting children really interested in STEM subjects from a young age. So they are not just learning about the world around them, but they are practically experimenting, discovering and exploring scientific principles and concepts as well as their own ideas in an incredibly fun, interactive and engaging way.
Lab Tots bring a world of scientific adventure to you in a fun, enjoyable, entertaining and safe environment. Leave the mess with us and take the fun home with you!
At Lab Tots every session is different, comprising amazing jaw dropping demos like our rainbow geysers and rocket launches, hands on activities like our dino dig and space walk, physical representations like our path of least resistance obstacle course, polymer conga and good vibrations right through to creative, sensory play like rainbow rain, bubble mania and popping sherbet!
We believe that science should not be stuffy, boring or reserved for the class room. Science is everywhere and should be for everyone to explore and have fun whether you are 3 or 103!
So, why should your child become a Lab Tot? Do you want to develop their curiosity in the world around them, nurture their understanding, introduce them to scientific concepts and principles from day 1? Do you want to improve their dexterity, reasoning, team work, communication, creative & imaginative problem solving, do you want them to become truly well rounded individuals – if the answer to any of these questions is YES, then Lab Tots is definitely for you!

www.labtots.com
https://www.facebook.com/labtots.preschool.science
twitter – Sophia mitchell@labtots
https://twitter.com/labtots